US eyes bigger role for allied contractors

by Marc Selinger

The FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the US Congress could make it easier for some allied defence contractors to compete for US defence work. (Getty Images)

A provision in the newly enacted fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could make it easier for certain allied defence contractors to compete for US defence work, according to a Republican aide to the US Senate Armed Services Committee.

The provision, which originated in the Senate version of the NDAA, directs the US Department of Defense (DoD) to include defence contractors from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in industry days and requests for information (RFIs) “to the maximum extent practicable”.

DoD industry days have traditionally been “US-only as the default” and RFIs are typically the same, the aide told Janes . Even US subsidiaries of allied defence contractors might not have access to all of the information shared at industry days, according to a DoD spokesperson.

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India's BDL wins Konkurs ATGW deal with Indian Army

by Parth Shukla & Shivanand B M

The Indian Army has ordered another batch of Konkurs-M weapons (pictured) from BDL. (KBP Instrument Design Bureau)

India's Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) announced that it has signed a contract to manufacture the Konkurs-M anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) system for the Indian Army.

BDL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange that the contract was signed on 2 February and is worth INR31.31 billion (USD419 million). The company, which is majority-owned by the government, said the deal will be executed in three years but disclosed no details about the number of Konkurs-M weapons to be produced.

In the filing, BDL's chairman and managing director Siddharth Mishra said the Konkurs-M will be built by BDL through a licencing agreement with an unspecified Russian original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The agreement enables BDL to offer the system to export customers, he added.

Local firm India Optel Limited (IOL) indicated in a tweet that it was partnering with BDL in the programme by supplying opto-electronic solutions for the new batch of Konkurs-M.

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Mitsubishi partners on Australian satcom programme

by Oishee Majumdar

Australian telecommunications company Optus has announced that it is partnering with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Melco) in bidding to supply defence satellite communications (satcom) capability to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Optus said in a media release on 3 February that the Japanese firm will join its 'AUSSAT' industry team, which also includes the Australian subsidiaries of Raytheon and Thales, in bidding for the programme under Joint Project (JP) 9102.

Optus said Melco's position in the team is supported through its experience of supplying customers with more than 70 satellites, and equipment for more than 500 spacecraft. The two companies have previously partnered on Australian satcom projects.

Melco Australia's managing director Jeremy Needham said the partnership presents an opportunity to extend Australia-Japan defence co-operation and advance local industry capabilities.

JP9102, also known as the Australian Defence Satcom System (ADSS), aims at building a sovereign Australian satcom system for both military and civil requirements. According to the Australian Department of Defence (DoD), the project is worth up to AUD3 billion (USD2.14 billion).

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Intelsat provides communications support in Tonga relief mission

by Oishee Majumdar

Intelsat is utilising its satellite technology to provide communication services in collaboration with Australian and New Zealand firms to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) in Tonga after it was hit by a devastating earthquake caused by the eruption of an underwater volcano in January.

Intelsat's senior vice-president of Global Sales Media & Networks, Jean-Philippe Gillet, told Janes that the company is working together with firms such as Spark New Zealand and Australia's Telstra and Optus to help local telecommunication companies restore connectivity in the Pacific archipelago.

Gillet added that Intelsat's geostationary communications satellites, Intelsat 18 (IS 18) and Horizons 3e (H3e), are being employed to support mobile phone networks and internet connections to ensure the efficient functioning of essential services.

According to Janes Space Systems and Industry , IS 18 was launched in 2011 and its principal application includes direct broadcast TV and other telecommunications services to customers from Southeast Asia to western United States. H3e is jointly owned and operated by Intelsat and Japan-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and its principal application includes digital video, internet, mobile communication, and data services.

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A provision in the newly enacted fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) cou...

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